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Washington's first official State Fair opens

 

Washington State Fair

RAINIER RUSH: New this year at the Washington State Fair is this ride with more twists than a murder mystery.

Organizers are calling it Washington’s first official state fair, and some young people from Goldendale will be there to participate with Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H events.

Sept. 6 marks a brand new era for the 113-year icon. The Washington State Fair in Puyallup will debut that day, running for its traditional 17 days. The 10th largest fair in the country has represented people, animals and agriculture, and arts in Washington for decades, and the name now recognizes that presence.

Tradition holds that on opening day, the fair kicks off with the annual cattle drive and the Washington State Fair Western Rodeo Parade. It will be held on Friday, Sept. 6 at 10 a.m. on Meridian Street in downtown Puyallup. Corriente cattle lead the way, followed by draft horse hitches, marching bands, equestrian drill teams, and costume characters. A Rodeo Breakfast will be held from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. for $2 at Pioneer Park’s Pavilion, across from Puyallup City Hall, right next to the parade route.

Gate admission is free from 9 a.m. to noon on Friday, Sept. 6, with a recommended non-perishable food donation for the Puyallup Food Bank. Last year a record-breaking 200,000 pounds were collected on opening day, and the goal is to beat that number this year.

New features at the fair include:

• Luminasia (Daily): This ancient lantern-making craft has been transformed and modernized to dazzle its audience in this larger-than-life production. Artisans from China have been on the grounds in Puyallup since Aug. 3 assembling this exhibit. Over 50,000 state-of-the-art bulbs are used to illuminate this spectacle for viewing both day and night. The result is a spectacular East meets West fusion. This is a separate ticketed event, and tickets are available online at http://www.thefair.com.

• Rainier Rush: Coaster enthusiasts will appreciate the debut of Rainier Rush at the 2013 Washington State Fair. This looping inversion coaster guarantees a memorable stomach-twisting experience. It goes up 60 feet in the air, then speeds downhill around wild loops, along wavy tracks and bendy curves. The 80-degree banked inversion is unique. Rainier Rush offers a smooth ride, in spite of its +5.8 gravity force.

• Opening Weekend Comcast Dizzy Pass Bracelet. This is a first, a weekend bracelet on Sept. 7 and 8. Sold for $35 on site, they include all rides except Extreme Scream and Rainier Rush.

• Piglet Palace: This is one of the favorite features at the fair, and this year it moves into its own Piglet Palace. Each year two sows arrive at the fair with one ready to deliver her piglets around opening day, and another midway through the Fair. Once the piglets arrive, the Palace will be packed with kids of all ages ogling over the latest newcomers to the Fair. Free with gate admission.

• Tractor Tracks: Kids love to be in control, and that means behind the wheel, too. Parents will encourage them to visit Tractor Tracks, where they can take a spin on a tractor that they pedal around a maze, seeing a red barn, water feature, big farm tractor and more. Location: SillyVille. Free with gate admission.

• Laser Shows (nightly at 9:00 and 9:30 p.m.), and Fireworks Spectacular (Fridays, Sept. 6, 13, 20) – Take advantage of a great laser show every night of the Fair, right near the Planting Patch. The show starts at approximately 10 p.m.

• Evergreen Hall: The Floral Department and the Agriculture and Horticulture Department have moved into a new facility so that both produce and flowers from the rich earth in Washington can be shown.

• Sounder Train (Saturdays, Sept. 14 and 21 (Saturdays): The fair has a new ride, and it is being offered two Saturdays of the fair. The Sounder Train will serve 12 stations between Everett and Lakewood. Shuttle service will be offered from the Puyallup Station to the Washington State Fair.

• ‘Crazy Worlds’ 5D Adventures: A walk-through interactive, multimedia experience Imagery comes to life with 3D glasses (provided). Free with fair admission.

• Green Marketplace: The Funky Junk Sisters will be here Sept. 6-10, with the wild west as a fun family theme from Sept. 11-16. The last six days will feature artisan products from the region.

Tradition is still a strong part of the Fair, since both the 4-H and FFA State Fairs are held at the same time. Other popular favorites include animal shows, home arts cooking contests and quilts, the International Photo Exhibition that draws entries from all corners of the globe, Hobby Hall, floral designs, and rides.

Entertainment

Top-name entertainment highlights the Columbia Bank Concert Series again this year. Headliners range from Carrie Underwood to Kid Rock, and Larry the Cable Guy to Trace Adkins. Purchase tickets at http://www.thefair.com/concerts and seating can be selected at the same time. Free entertainment stages and strolling entertainers feature something for all ages.

Fiestas Patrias will be held Sept. 15 as a ticket-required event. Festivities start at noon, from entertainment to booths to local Latino music. The event headliner in the

evening is Roberto Tapia. The $37.50 bracelet includes Fair gate admission. Children 12 and under can enjoy free admission to Fiestas and the concert with parents. Purchase tickets at http://www.thefair.com/concerts.

The Washington State Fair Rodeo is Sept. 6-8. Their destination is the National Finals Rodeo, but the road to that competition in Las Vegas goes through Puyallup. They have to prove it here, or go home. See the top 24 cowboys and cowgirls compete in each event. Purchase tickets at thefair.com/rodeo/.

Special Days

Admission is free for kids the first Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 7 and 8. To take advantage of BECU Free Kids’ Weekend, download a coupon at becu.org/freekids, and turn it in at the gate either day in lieu of gate admission (up to 18 years).

Special activity days include Military Mondays Sept. 9 and 16, offering free gate admission to all active, reserve, and retired military and National Guard and their dependents, plus disabled veterans when each shows valid military ID at the Fair gate. Senior Tuesdays are Sept. 10 and 17.

Discount Gate and Ride Savings

Gates open at 10 a.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. on weekends. Season passes are sold at Walgreens for $29.50 for adults and $19.50 for students (ages 6-18 years), and include other special savings. Advance gate admission tickets are available through Sept. 22 at participating Walgreens and Safeway stores in western Washington, and South Hill Mall, while supplies last:

At Gate Advance

Adults $12.50 $10.00

Students (6-18) $9.00 $ 7.50

Seniors (62 yrs.+) $9.00 $ 7.50

Kids (5 & under) ALWAYS FREE

Ride deals featured this year include:

• Value Packs are sold at Fred Meyer through Sept. 6 for $35.95, and include two gate tickets, any six Funtastic rides (excludes Extreme Scream), 10 food bucks, and a 2-for-1 coupon for the 1 p.m. rodeo on Sept. 7.

• Extreme Deal – Ride the Extreme Scream for only $7.50, Mondays – Thursdays, Sept. 9-12, 16-19.

• Comcast Dizzy Pass Ride Bracelet – Get unlimited rides on Midway and SillyVille rides for just $27.50 on all rides (except Extreme Scream), plus one free game. The Dizzy Pass is valid Tues.-Thur. (Sept. 9-12) and Mon.-Thur. (Sept. 16-19). Purchase at http://www.thefair.com by Sept. 5, and the bracelet is only $25.

The Washington State Fair is one of the biggest fairs in the world and the largest in the Pacific Northwest. It started in 1900 in Puyallup and welcomes more than one million guests to the single largest attended event in the state. For more info about the Washington State Fair, visit http://www.thefair.com, or text “FAIR” to 87767.

 

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